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Re: Cults and Cult-like Behavior

The term “cult” is traditionally used to reference social groups defined by their extreme religious, philosophical or spiritual beliefs focused on a particular personality, object or goal.  These groups often use devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents (i.e. high pressure recruiting tactics), and are often characterized by socially deviant practices or novel beliefs. There is no particular membership size for a cult.  The groups can range in size from a few local members to international organizations with millions.

Cults and cult-like behavior are not acceptable at Bethune-Cookman University.  Any individual and/or group believed to be exhibiting cult-like characteristics will be investigated, and pending the results of the investigation may be removed and/or banned from campus and all University associated activities. 

RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTS

  1. Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving
  2. Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders
  3. Dishonoring the family unit
  4. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
  5. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
  6. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
  7. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies, and persecutions.
  8. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
  9. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
  10. The group/leader is always right.
  11. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

If you believe that you or someone you know has been engaged in a cult or the target of cult-related activity on the campus of B-CU, please contact the Chaplaincy Department by calling (386) 481-2443, emailing Chaplaincy@cookman.edu or visiting the office located at 332 Model Street, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.